Suzanne Moore channels ‘Grumpy Old Women’:
Back in the day – a phrase never used back in the day by anyone I ever met – we were the knees of the bees. Being young was very heaven. Everything was better. Because we were just better. Sadly, young people today are just rubbish. Look at them on their meow meow, mainlining the Kardashians, doing pathetically downgraded exams and degrees in astroturfing. Look at their inability to get jobs in a recession. Look at the really lazy ones on the streets in sleeping bags, and the ones who don’t even own any property. Hardly suprising (sic) when they turn up at school with no social skills and leave with fewer.
If that sounds unlike her, don’t worry. She’s just kidding.
It’s just the awful stuff her generation say about the youth of today – unfairly, in her book:
I am exaggerating, but not much. I hear these conversations all the time, and I feel disgusted with my generation. It is not that I am down with the youth or anything, but every day I see things I took for granted – education, housing, reasonable employment – being stripped away from younger generations.
Mmmm, well, the bill’s come due, Suzanne.
It wasn’t really sustainable for your generation, either (though as Longrider pointed out the other day, that’s a generalisation, and doesn’t hold true for everyone), and when Labour came to power and busied themselves doubling and tripling it, it became even less so…
Those people who are surprised that David Cameron wants to take away housing benefit from the under-25s have not been paying attention at the back. From tuition fees to workfare to benefit cuts to young parents, to careers stitched up by free internships and temporary contracts, a clear ideological and electoral decision has been made. These young people don’t vote, they don’t pay much tax, and they are superfluous to a Tory win.
There’s an easy solution, then? Tell them this, and then if they still don’t vote (and who are they going to vote for? No party is telling them they can have it all, are they?) then shrug, and leave them to it.
People my age should be embarrassed by this situation. Solidarity has to be cross-generational, not dismissed as some sort of youthful protest. We have to stop blaming young people for not voting. If there is no sense of a shared future – what we called civic society – and if people feel politicians are powerless in the face of “the markets”, they will not engage.
Lots of people do feel powerless, but it’s in the face of the ever-growing onslaught of the EU, not ‘the market’.
A phony war between those who are in work and have property and those who are shut out of that loop must be refused. Children should not bear the brunt of adult dysfunction and that is exactly what is happening. How can we not be on the side of our own children? This disturbs me.
I don’t have children. And those of others I see around me, well, frankly, I’m never going to be on their side.